In a recent news release , Tom Super, spokesperson for the National Chicken Council stated that there will be no shortage of wings. Wings will be available for purchase, although they might be more expensive than other items. I would order online or wait for kickoff so I wouldn't hesitate to order.
According to Super, the higher cost is due to Americans' increased appetite for chicken wings in the pandemic. This demand is placing pressure on a supply network already plagued by labor shortages and shipping delays, as well as bad weather.
According to the Chicken Council, Americans will consume approximately 1.42 billion chicken wings this year -- which is nearly equal to last year's record. The industry has been working hard to ensure that the Super Bowl's supply of wings is met, despite all the supply issues. They will just be more expensive.
According to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, wholesale wing prices have fallen 19% since last May's high. However, businesses are still charging around 30 cents per pound less than last year.
Restaurant Business reported that the cost of wings has risen 100%. Zak Omar is CEO of Atomic Wings chain restaurant. In March, COVID was just starting, and we were charging $60 per case of wings. Today, the price for a case is $120.
Businesses may have frozen wings in case they run out of fresh wings. According to the NCC, poultry producers increased their stock of frozen wings by 70% last year.
These aren't any less expensive, however. According to the USDA frozen "party wings” retail prices increased from $2.31 per kilogram last year to $3.55 (and $3.13 last weeks).
NPR's Mike Pomeranz, a food writer, said that some restaurants are now reducing the size of their wing deals, instead of charging customers more. Domino's, for instance, announced last month it would reduce the number of chicken wings included in its $7.99 carryout order from 10 to 8. The chain's CEO blamed "unprecedented" increases in ingredient costs.
Pomeranz also says that chicken wings can be volatile.
He said that the amount of chicken wings is subject to fluctuation annually. However, even though farms are raising more birds, some producers may not have enough workers to process the meat. He said that there are also larger supply chain problems when it comes to getting the wings from producers to restaurants.
Pomeranz said that restaurants have been trying to take advantage of COVID's limitations in dining and Americans' cravings for comfort food in recent years. Many wing restaurants are designed to deliver and takeout, but Pomeranz stated that there is a new boom in delivery-only businesses such as ghost kitchens or virtual brands.
He stated, "The result is that as more places push chicken wings it just keeps driving up prices across all areas."
Pomeranz, NPR reminded of the immutable truth that nature is in spite of last year's worries about a Super Bowl wing shortage.
He stated, "I always say that the root cause of the problem is that chickens only possess two wings and that will not change anytime soon."